volleyball in Azerbaijan compared to other former URSS countries

  • I've always wondered why Azerbaijan have such a strong female NT compared to other former URSS countries. The Soviet Union always had a strong team, so I thought that volley will develop equally in all former URSS countries. Russia is the follower of the URSS team, with very strong attackers and blockers, but no other country (except Azerbaijan) have a solid and decent NT.


    Why just Azerbaijan developped good players? Is it the influence of Turkey more than that of Russia?. Considering also that Russia is developping strong spikers but not setters and liberos, while Azerbaijan certainly have one of the best liberos (Korotenko) of the World and one of the best setters (Parkhomenko). If we think also Turkey has strong liberos (Gulden) and setters (Mert, Aydemir, Celik). From Russia on the other hand come strong attackers that are not good receivers and diggers, while Azerbaijan and Turkey generally have more balanced spikers that are good receivers and in defence (Shabovta, Mammadyarova from Azerbaijan and Gumus, Kirdar from Turkey). Also Azeri and Turkish MBs are better than Russian in my opinion, or at least they have different characteristics (if we compare Kovalenko, Parkhomenko, Ozbek, Erdem to Borodakova, Merkulova and Alimova).


    Why Armenia, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Kirghizistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Moldova, the Baltic countries, Ukraine don't have at least a decent NT? Belarus and Kazakhstan are a little bit better, but still struggling.
    Some individual players emerge from those countries, but generally they are strong spikers and weaker receivers (Tocko from Latvia, Petrauskaite from Lithuania, Pavlova, well she is a better receiver, from Kazakhstan, Aksenava, Kovalchuk, Tumas, Andrushko and Hendzel from Belarus, Mammadova, Maksimenko, Gasukha, Goncharova, Marchenko, Gansonre from Ukraine).
    No good setters or liberos emerge from those countries (except Zhukova) and just some MBs (Hendzel and Tumas, however they play also as OH, they are more universal players). Ravva is an excellent MB from Georgia, but I think she learned volley from Azeri school. Is Kovalenko from Belarus? I think that her being a good MB is also thanks to Azeri school.
    And what is even worse that many of them become Russian without having the possibility to play in NT (Andrushko, Kovalchuk, Goncharova, Gansonre). On the other hand the ones who change to Azerbaijan play in the NT.


    So can someone from Azerbaijan or former URSS, explain me this situation?

  • Yes, it is an interesting question.
    I wonder of another thing: why only female Azeri team is able to compete with the best, while men are very weak?

    The most important 3:
    POLAND-SZCZECIN-VOLLEYBALL


    5th place - Prediction Game - World League 2011 :D

  • Probably a stable government and economy contributed to the development of a competitive league and a good NT program. The other former USSR countries had volatile political environment which may have curtailed the development of a good NT in these countries. :) just my humble opinion

  • Thank you,for this interest. I will write you about it widely! Great thanks for your interests!


    Now one more great news about Azerbaijani volleyball!


    Centre of European volleyball moves to Azerbaijan




    European Centre for volleyball will soon be established in Azerbaijan.
    The vice-president of the European Volleyball Confederation Jan Hronek noted that this decision will be officially announced by the Congress of CEV, which will be held in September.
    He noted that the work of the Azerbaijani National Federation, as they say, deserve this center.
    “We have a similar basis. One of them operates in Belgium, and after the won of London of organizing Olympic Games, we thought appropriate opening such a center in Azerbaijan. Moreover, the results of your federation is evident – the National team successfully plays in the international arena, and now five clubs of Azerbaijan fight at the European level “- said J. Hronek.
    This base should become a kind of methodical center where will be organized international coaching and referee seminars.
    Hronek also noticed that the center should become the basis for not only European volleyball but also the center of the world volleyball. “I think that not only the teams from Europe have to visit Baku, but also the teams from Asia like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan” - he said. In addition, CEV will supply the center with all the necessary experts what will help to develop the domestic volleyball. However, establishment of the Centre of the European volleyball should be part of the processes that are outlined by the National Federation. In particular, involves the construction of new headquarters, as well as the Academy, where young players could improve their skills.
    However, J. Hronek noted the upcoming launch of Rabita Baku in the Champions League. ”In recent years, Azerbaijan was not represented in the main club competition of Europe and I congratulate you on the fact that the Champions League once again will arrive in Azerbaijan. Drawing of lots of the tournament will be held in late June, so we look forward to its results, - said vice-president of CEV.



  • I think is is tradition, in URSS time women volleyball was better.
    Generally in induvidual sports (wrestling, boxing, judo) men are better. In sport games (volleyball, handball) womean are better.
    I think Azerbaijan has strong women volleyball school, that's why good foreign players become stars! ^^
    Yes Don't forget stable government and economy! Sport is one of the main policy of our state.

  • Thank you,for this interest. I will write you about it widely! Great thanks for your interests!


    Now one more great news about Azerbaijani volleyball!

    Thanks!! When you have time write what you know and your opinions about it. I'm really interested. :)
    Azeri players impressed me very much last year at European Championships when they played against Italy. Also Barbolini congratuled them for the level of play they showed. I think if Azerbaijan will always play like that it will have more success. I especially like your libero Korotenko, the setter Parkhomenko and the MB Kovalenko.
    It's great news for Azerbaijan about the centre of euro volley and about the fact that the League will be more competitive.
    It's a pity that Georgia and Armenia have non existent volley. I know they have a completely different political and economical situation. They are also ethnically different from Azeri, if I'm not wrong. Religion is different. Languages too? Azeri is more similiar to Turkish, while Armenian is Indoeuropean. I don't know how that relates to volley, but sometimes that count too, considering the physically stronger Cuban women.

  • As a matter of fact Ukraine still has outstanding players and I dare to say it'd be a top team IF its federations was organized. It is a pitty Ukraine is a complete mess as well as Croatia. Both cases are so damn similar!!! In spite of lack organization Ukraine keeps on making new tallents (Goncharova is only 20) but it cannot keep them. Anyway I love Ukraine and I always shall root for it.

  • The first I would like to thank you again for your interest to Azerbaijan volleyball.
    I can write you many-many pages about our history but I will try to write you a bit.
    I would like to say that volleyball in Azerbaijan has always been sports number one. Azerbaijani volleyball school was always famous for its coaches and the trainers which had prepared many high level players like Inna Ryskal, Vera Lanratova,Alla Hasanova,Yelena Shabovta,Victoria Ravva and the others!
    18 years old Olympic Champion Inna Ryskal was and she is the records man in the volleyball history who won the most Olympic awards. Two of USSR National team starting six, were from Azerbaijan. No matter what their nationality was. They were all born in Baku and they were all were Azeris! Inna Riskal has four awards of Olympic games.Two gold and two silver medals!
    Vera Lantratova also won Olympic Gold in 1972 and several times she became World and European Champion with Inna Riskal.
    Not only women volleyball was on high level in the middle of the last century. With the coaches Ivan Dyachkov and Boyukkishi Muradov our National team won many titles. Two Azeri players won World Championship bronze in 1956. Our players like Ogtay Musayev,Faig Garayev became European and World Champions in the national teams of USSR. Faig Garayev was also the captain of USSR team.
    In 1957 in the Final of USSR (there were 16 teams in this tournament, and 16th was Korea) cup Baku team met Moscow team (in which roster were 7 members of USSR National team). Azeri team won 3-2 and took that cup in front of thousands of people.
    Azeri National team coach Ivan Dyachkov had worked in Cuba for a long time and he was one of the great phenomena who did a great job for improvement of Cuban volleyball and trained many of amazing Cuban players.


    Our coaches used to work in many countries and developed the level in different countries. Some of them worked in Cuba,Turkey,Russia.
    Shamil Shamkhalov was the one of the greatest coaches in the history of Azerbaijani volleyball; he trained many outstanding players not only for Azerbaijan but also for different USSR teams. He was the coach of our Baku team when we won clubs World Championship, he prepared many players like Musayev,Garayev,Korotenko and etc.
    Faig Garayev except the player as you know is a great coach which began to train Azerbaiajni club and National teams from the USSR period at a very young age. He is the person who prepared world class players like Alla Hasanova,Yelena Shabovta,Victoria Ravva,Alla Teterina and many-many players in Turkey and Azerbaijan.
    Faig Garayev one of the people who worked in Turkey for a long time like Feliks Mammadova,Fazil Aliyevic and the others. Faig Garayev was a coach of Turkish National teams and trained many players like Cigdem Can Rasna,Ozlem Ozcelik,Bahar Urcu and the others. With him many Azeri players played in different Turkish clubs and did a great job for their success in the Europe. Namely Yelena Shabovta was in the roster and was one of the leaders of Eczacibashi in the very first European success of this team. Some of our players stayed there and played for National team of Turkey,like Nisa Guliyeva,Melis Hemsheri.
    Faig Garayev made Turkish national team to qualify to the Elite of European volleyball from low divisions.
    But before that Faig Garayev won different medals with Azerrail (then it was BMKZ) in USSR competitions and Cups. Azerbaijan also won the last USSR Cup with the National team players:Shabovta,Hasanova,Teterina,Ravva. Bye the way about Ravva.
    I think Victoria Ravva does not need any special introduction. She is from Georgia and moved to Azerbaijan in 1989, when she was a 14 years old baby girl. Faig Garayev worked very hard on her, Ravva played both for USSR youth team,and for AZERRAIL and Azerbaijan Senior National team in the World Championship which held on in Brazil 1994 and where Azeri NT finished in the 9th place among 16 teams. She won also CEV Cup silver medal, USSR Cup and medals of very-very strong USSR league with Azerrail.
    Bye the way Victoria Ravva lived in the place where I live now (Sabunchi district) and many of our neighbors know and remember her very nice. Tall Georgian Girl!!!
    Then in 1997 she moved from Azerbaijan as the rest of our players because of politic crisis and Azeri teams were under disqualification three years and lost their position in the international Arena. Azerbaijan was the 3rd team in Europe and 9th in the World! We finished that World Championship in front of the teams like Italy,Ukraine,Netherleand,,Peru,Romania.
    But after that in 2000 year our National Olympic Committee president, now also the president or our Republic Ilham Aliyev invited Faig Garayev who was general coordinator of all National teams of Turkey, to Azerbaijan. Faig Garayev coming back to Azerbaijan brought the players who left to the other countries, but of course not all of them, because in these three years we had lost many perspective girls. Anyway that comeback was great. After it you know how story goes on…
    INSHALLAH, success of Azeri volleyball is ahead-because we have enough potential and power for it!

  • Thanks Shabovta, your explanation was very interesting. :)
    So it was Azerbaijan school that influenced and developped Turkish volley, not the other way around, as I've thought. So Turkey has to be thankful to Azerbaijan for that. In fact Turkey NT became competitive in the last 10 years, after the work of Garayev. Now I understand the similiarities between Azeri and Turkish players. Gulden and Korotenko, Mert and Parkhomenko, Turkish and Azeri MBs etc.
    What is interesting is that Azeri plays differently from Russia. Like Russia it has retained the non receving OH and receiving OPP system, but it has a more quick setting (btw Oksana is an excellent setter!). It amazes me also how good is Korotenko. Russia doesn't have any libero on such a level. Do you have other young promising liberos too?
    So, Ravva is Georgian, but learned volley in Azerbaijan. I guess in Georgia and Armenia volley is almost non existant.

  • Thanks Shabovta, your explanation was very interesting. :)
    So it was Azerbaijan school that influenced and developped Turkish volley, not the other way around, as I've thought. So Turkey has to be thankful to Azerbaijan for that. In fact Turkey NT became competitive in the last 10 years, after the work of Garayev. Now I understand the similiarities between Azeri and Turkish players. Gulden and Korotenko, Mert and Parkhomenko, Turkish and Azeri MBs etc.
    What is interesting is that Azeri plays differently from Russia. Like Russia it has retained the non receving OH and receiving OPP system, but it has a more quick setting (btw Oksana is an excellent setter!). It amazes me also how good is Korotenko. Russia doesn't have any libero on such a level. Do you have other young promising liberos too?
    So, Ravva is Georgian, but learned volley in Azerbaijan. I guess in Georgia and Armenia volley is almost non existant.


    of course there could be some influence bt azerbeijan trainer garayev, but there is no corelation between turkish NT 's success and garayev's work. if there is somebody which turkey has to be thankful is Deniz Esinduy who is the trainer and builder of the NT 2003 European Championship which turkey rewarde with silver medal.
    As garayev work in turkey, also parkhomenko played and developed her performance in turkish clubs :whistle:

  • of course there could be some influence bt azerbeijan trainer garayev, but there is no corelation between turkish NT 's success and garayev's work. if there is somebody which turkey has to be thankful is Deniz Esinduy who is the trainer and builder of the NT 2003 European Championship which turkey rewarde with silver medal.
    As garayev work in turkey, also parkhomenko played and developed her performance in turkish clubs :whistle:

    exactly ! after 2003 our volleyball started to develop and fenerbahçe's f4 is our 2nd big step. its gonna develop much much more coz many people really love volleyball in turkey.

  • Thank you so much Shabovta!!!!


    Victoria Ravva is one of my favorite players ever! I watched her for the first time in 2002 or 2003 when Cannes won IECL against Bergamo. Back to that time and until now I never knew she was from Azerbaijan and more than anything else played for USSR. I guess that is enough to explain why she is an amazing player. No disrespect to Georgia or France but to me it was hard to believe Ravva became such a player only playing in those countries.... Anyway I remember once in 2002 a former brazilian coach, born in Ukraine, mentioned Kulakova. He told Kulakova was once a junior player for USSR and told she was an amazing middle blocker and he was surprised seeing her back for Germany 'cause he remembered how good she was at junior championship for USSR. Well I couldn't disagree more because I don't think Kulakova is that great player. Right now, reading your posts I guess maybe he thought about Ravva.

  • Thank you so much Shabovta!!!!


    Victoria Ravva is one of my favorite players ever! I watched her for the first time in 2002 or 2003 when Cannes won IECL against Bergamo. Back to that time and until now I never knew she was from Azerbaijan and more than anything else played for USSR. I guess that is enough to explain why she is an amazing player. No disrespect to Georgia or France but to me it was hard to believe Ravva became such a player only playing in those countries.... Anyway I remember once in 2002 a former brazilian coach, born in Ukraine, mentioned Kulakova. He told Kulakova was once a junior player for USSR and told she was an amazing middle blocker and he was surprised seeing her back for Germany 'cause he remembered how good she was at junior championship for USSR. Well I couldn't disagree more because I don't think Kulakova is that great player. Right now, reading your posts I guess maybe he thought about Ravva.


    My Turkish friends,believe me in this post I was not gonna made you to be thankful to Azeri`s. Just I wrote because my Italian and other friends asked me. Of course it was Faig Garayev`s big work,because when Mr Deniz trained Nt then Mr Garayev did everything to makeTurkish Nt play inElite Division of Europe. These all are realtive things as they could not do it without previous big job done by Garayev. As they say,there can not be splendid Future without a hard job in Past.Faig Garayev worked in Turkey 6 years,and it`s a long period.Adnan Kistak,Reshat Yaziciogullari,Emin Imen-when they were in Baku they told-Turkish volleyball have learnt a lot from Mr Garayev, Mr.Mammadov and other Azeri`s. So don`t feel discomfort that you have to be thankful,this is sports,also some Turkish players and coaches worked in Azeri football. Also as I told before our coaches developed volleyball in Cuba. I just feel very happy with this fact. So,take it easy.
    Dear vblover,I think he was talking also about Kulakova,who was born in Kazakhstan and was one of promising players and had played for German NTfor some period,Oleysya Kulakova was very nice player,but last years I could not see her on her high level,now she is playing for Rocheville Le Cannet in France. They came to Baku to play against Rabita,and Oleysiya who played for Novara and other high level teams had not impressed me as before.
    Ravva-she was super talant,she will always among the STARS till the end of her career.

  • Thanks Shabovta, your explanation was very interesting. :)
    So it was Azerbaijan school that influenced and developped Turkish volley, not the other way around, as I've thought. So Turkey has to be thankful to Azerbaijan for that. In fact Turkey NT became competitive in the last 10 years, after the work of Garayev. Now I understand the similiarities between Azeri and Turkish players. Gulden and Korotenko, Mert and Parkhomenko, Turkish and Azeri MBs etc.
    What is interesting is that Azeri plays differently from Russia. Like Russia it has retained the non receving OH and receiving OPP system, but it has a more quick setting (btw Oksana is an excellent setter!). It amazes me also how good is Korotenko. Russia doesn't have any libero on such a level. Do you have other young promising liberos too?
    So, Ravva is Georgian, but learned volley in Azerbaijan. I guess in Georgia and Armenia volley is almost non existant.


    My dear friend, I am very very very and very thankful to you that you made an opportunity to share my knowledge about past of Azerbaijan with the others. Thank you thousand times.
    Yes,there are some high level promising young players in Azerbaijan for different positions.
    For position setter, we have two quite good players,on eof them second setter of NT Natavan Gasimova who impressed all volleyball lovers with her game this season. In Azerbaijan we call her Azeri Lo bianco-her style is close to Leo`s. She has injury now,and we hope that she will heal it till next season. Actually she had to play in Boris Yeltsin Cup,as Azerbaijan is planning to play there with reserve team. But if she is operated on she will rest for some period.
    Another setter is Anita Bredis-from youth team who has also big perspective.
    For libero postioin we have many talanted girls,but I will call one name-because she is better even than Korotenko. Wow! Jeyran Aliyeva is 15 years old libero. This girl is just amazing! You can not imagine how nice she played against Rabita team!!! She received all the services without any faul! She is a bit weaker in defence than Korotenko,but I hope she will grow to an amazing libero! Unfortunately we lost two good liberos like Sabina Yarmammadova,Ilaha Aghayeva due to family problems,but we also have promising Shafag Karimova,Lala Baghiyeva,Bayaz Mustafayeva and some other girls.
    Time by time I will answer to all of your questions,just ask whatever you want!!!

  • I don't want to argue which country influence, but I remember in Haydar ALiyev tournement Bahar, Ozlem, Cigdem talked much about Garayev.
    They said Garaev was our teacher, couch, we leraned a lot from him.


    In my opinion if Azerbaijan has any achievment in sport (except traditional sport in Azerbaijan like wrestling), we have to thank to URRS!